The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Chocolate Mousse Parfaits with Cardamom Cream

MochaMousseTSTIt’s been a while since I posted a chocolate recipe, and I decided that task needed my utmost attention. A pesky broken oven this week couldn’t thwart me. Continue reading

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Chocolate Fondants

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Last year I tested chocolate fondant/molten lava cake recipes as I think only a zealous chocoholic can. I tried them in ramekins (not as fun as opening them up to let the chocolate spill out on a plate), I baked some in a water bath (more pudding-like than cake on the outside), I poked little chunks of chocolate in the middle of some (which felt like cheating, and wasn’t the smooth and rich consistency of molten batter), and I experimented with different chocolate/sugar/flour ratios and minutes in the oven. Luckily I found a favorite before I became a walking molten lava cake myself. The best variation, to my taste, was this one, adapted from a recipe by Aussie chef Curtis Stone (another confessed chocoholic). Baked in a jumbo muffin pan, it uses quality dark bittersweet chocolate, just enough flour to set up without offsetting the rich chocolate goodness, and achieves that gooey molten effect that oozes out at the slightest touch of the spoon. This winning dessert — along with a day spent with my luvbugs and a lovely dinner prepared by my husband — makes for a very happy birthday today!

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Chocolate Banana Cinnamon French Toast

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One of the hardest things about living overseas is missing loved ones’ milestones. In the past week, two of my lovely nieces celebrated birthdays back home. Every time we get together, I’m amazed at how much they’ve grown and learned and become their own individuals. How I would love to celebrate with them and treat them to a special birthday breakfast. Continue reading


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Parenting and Letting Go: Lessons from a Chocolate Cloud Cake

IMG_4422On occasions that call for a special dessert, I most often turn to a recipe for Chocolate Cloud Cake in my Nigella Lawson cookbook, Nigella Bites. It’s a bit labor-intensive, but not dauntingly so. It requires some focused attention to let the chocolate melt slowly and incorporate other ingredients, a vigorous whisking of the egg whites to achieve the right structure, and a gentle touch to fold the whites into the chocolate just so. Continue reading